A cookbook has been printed to mark 50 years of St Martins.
Preparing and sharing a nutritious meal increases wellbeing and a sense of community.
Learning to cook and developing confidence in the kitchen is an important life skill alongside knowledge about healthy choices and how to shop economically.
The majority of recipes in the cookbook use cheap, readily available ingredients. Some of the recipes were inspired by the wonderful donations of tinned food St Martins receive.
Other contributions are from St Martins’ trained chefs, and some are the favourite dishes of team members and people who use their services.
Simple instructions are included for the complete beginner on how to boil an egg and how to bake a potato. Straightforward recipes include quick vegetarian curries, slow cooker soup and tasty pasta dishes.
Cooking is encouraged in the communal kitchens in our hostels. Cooking lessons are provided at Under 1 Roof, our learning and development centre and a weekly ‘grub club’ is offered at our Dibden Road hostel.
Teams often arrange BBQs in the summer and also seasonal celebratory meals.
Chef Karla Thorne has been running weekly cooking classes. She said, “Since starting the cookery school, the most ironic thing is that I have learnt the most! Cooking isn’t just about the ingredients and recipes; it’s about encouraging imagination, empowerment and creativity. I have become incredibly close to my students and to see them improve weekly has been an honour and a privilege.”
The cookbook is just one of the ways we are marking our 50th anniversary. All funds raised through the sale of the book will enable us to support more people out of homelessness.
Homelessness can happen to anyone: Trained chef Kevin Gorton [pictured above] slept rough on the streets on Norwich. He was offered support by St Martins and lived in hostel accommodation before moving on to his own tenancy. Whilst Kevin lived with at the hostel, the team soon discovered he was the most amazing chef, regularly rustling up scones, sausage rolls and cakes in the hostel kitchen. Kevin now lends his experience to St Martins as a Trustee.
Pictured above is chef Karla with the cookbook, and a cooking lesson in action!